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Showing posts from 2009

Happy New Year

The horror of the decade is over.
President Barack Obama has turned the ship of state.
God Bless the United States of America.
Happy New Year, everybody.
Now let's keep the momentum going.


I've experienced anti-union rhetoric a couple of times this past week from people who don't understand the labor movement and don't realize that the working conditions they enjoy are a result of that movement.

Today, an article in the Washington Post reveals that the right wing Senator from South Carolina, Jim DeMint, is holding up the confirmation of the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration. The reason? ........Senator DeMint is worried that President Obama's nominee, Erroll Southers, who was a former FBI special agent and a counterterrorism expert, might be willing to allow the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) workers to unionize.

Southers is well qualified and has support from both sides of the isle. But gosh, wouldn't it be awful if we had to provide good benefits and descent wages to baggage handlers?

At a time when our country is trying to do all it can to protect us from terrorists, these anti-union republicans and right win…


A Quick Study of How Unions Help Workers Win a Voice on the JobWhat is a union?A union is a group of workers who form an organization to gain: Respect on the job, Better wages and benefits, More flexibility for work and family needs, A counterbalance to the unchecked power of employers, and A voice in improving the quality of their products and services. How do people form a union?When workers decide they want to come together to improve their jobs, they work with a union to help them form their own local chapter. Once a majority of workers shows they want a union, sometimes employers honor the workers’ choice. Often, the workers must ask the government to hold an election. If the workers win their union, they negotiate a contract with the employer that spells out each party’s rights and responsibilities in the workplace.Does the law protect workers joining unions?It’s supposed to—but too often it doesn’t. Under the law, employers are not allowed to discriminate against or fire worker…

Thank You Senator Bayh

This morning, the United States Senate passed healthcare reform. All of the Democrats voted for the bill, and because it will help to prevent human suffering, misery, pain and death, naturally, all of the Republicans voted against the bill.
All of our hard work on behalf of those who need affordable health insurance has paid off. Our country finally is doing the right thing for Americans suffering under the stranglehold that insurance companies have had on all of us.
This bill will go a long way to control costs, and prevent people having to file for bankruptcy due to the cost of health care. It will help to prevent fraud and abuse, and will allow for coverage for 31 million more Americans.
The Democrats never gave up even with all of the lies and distortions, delay and fear mongering from the right wing.
Finally, Americans will have affordable health care without having to go to a hospital emergency room, and will be able to have preventative care.
The task is not complete though. Now…

Thank You Mitch Daniels

The health care reform bill being considered in the U.S. Senate is not easy to understand.There has been so much confusion and misinformation and lies about it from the Republicans. That concern was put to rest for me this morning when I saw that Indiana’s Governor, Mitch Daniels, said that it’s bad.His conclusion along with that of Indiana’s Senator, Richard Lugar clinched it for me.Since they say that it’s bad, I’m convinced that it must be good enough to be reconciled with the House version and be made even better.Whatever a right winger says, the exact opposite is true.

Physician Crooks

I was just watching Senator Tom Colburn, Republican from Oklahoma, on C-Span.

Senator Coburn is an M.D..

In talking about defensive medicine, Coburn said that he orders tests every day, not tests that his patients need, but tests that he needs, in order to protect himself from frivolous law suits.

I think that Senator Coburn and any other physician that orders unnecessary medical tests for a patient simply to protect his own skin, is a stinking crook.

Thanks, Joe Donnelly

I want to thank our Congressman, Joe Donnelly, for supporting seniors by voting for the health insurance reform legislation. Congressman Donnelly has always demonstrated that he is a champion of senior citizens and retirees. I cannot understand why any Congressman or Senator would do otherwise.

The medical insurance companies have had their own way for far too long making life miserable for so many retirees and seniors.
The misinformation from the right wing is their age old attempt to eventually do away with Medicare. By scaring seniors, they hope to pressure enough legislators to keep things as they are.

Fortunately seniors have umbrella organizations looking out for them. Organizations like the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM), the Alliance for Retired Americans (ARA), and the Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR) that work tirelessly in their support of retirees and seniors, and all three of these organizations support the health…

Many Thanks To Ken Zeller and Congratulations to Nancy Guyott

Nancy Guyott is our new Indiana AFL-CIO President. She was elected at the Indiana State AFL-CIO convention a few days ago. Nancy is a real go getter and will serve Indiana's working families and retirees very well.

Nancy replaces retiring President, Ken Zeller. I first became acquainted with Ken in 1980 when he took over the collection of the medical insurance premiums for our union workers at the Northern Indiana Public Service Company when that company refused to do that when they forced the workers out on strike. Ken then became President of Local 12775 and served our local union very well.
He then became Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Labor.

I wish both of these champions of labor well in the future.

Do not be discouraged

Even though the right wingers are willing to say no to every piece of legislation, we will get a good health care bill passed in the U.S. Senate.
We all just have to keep up the good fight.

The Plight of American Manufacturing

As London is the market of England, to which the best of all things find their way, so Rome was the market of the Mediterranean world; but there was this difference between the two, that in Rome the articles were not paid for. Money, indeed, might be given, but it was money which had not been earned, and which therefore would come to its end at last.

Rome lived upon its principal till ruin stared it in the face. Industry is the only true source of wealth, and there was no industry in Rome. By day the Ostia road was crowded with carts and muleteers, carrying to the great city the silks and spices of the East, the marble of Asia Minor, the timber of the Atlas, the grain of Africa and Egypt; and the carts brought nothing out but loads of dung. That was their return cargo. London turns dirt into gold. Rome turned gold into dirt. And how, it may be asked, was the money spent? The answer is not difficult to give. Rome kept open house. It gave a dinner party every day; the emperor and his fav…

Great Manure Tea

If you should find yourself with some left over Christmas cards made in Communist China, feel free to mail them to me. I think they'd make terrific manure tea for my garden next spring.

December 11, 1965 was a very good year

Forty four years ago, it was, that Elaine and I tied the knot. December 11, 1965. She's been a terrific wife. A man couldn't ask for more. I love her.
She's making me cookies tonight.

Listen to the Truth about Medicare and health care reform

Crocodile Tears for Medicare
Posted By NCPSSM

For three full days, the Senate debate over health care reform has been loaded with misinformation and scare tactics targeted directly at seniors. Among the most recent outrageous claims are that seniors will die sooner if health care reform passes and health care reform will cut Medicare benefits. Both are simply not true.

Today we joined Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Christopher Dodd (D-CT) and Tom Harkin (IA) at a news conference offering the truth about health care reform and it’s impact on Medicare. We also announced our support for an amendment introduced by Senator Bennet today, which expressly prohibits any reductions in guaranteed Medicare benefits and makes sure all savings are reinvested back into Medicare.

We’ve said it before but clearly it must be said again…and again…and again.

“Don’t Touch Medicare” may sound like a good slogan but it’s a fatal strategy for the program.

Here's why:

Benefits cuts are not included i…

I Stand By Our President

I am a professed Christian. I believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ. I believe that a person when assaulted should turn the other cheek rather than fight back. However, I must at the same time, confess that I am not a perfect Christian and that if attacked, I would defend myself.

I know that President Obama’s decision to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan will be a controversial one, but I support his decision.

I was seventeen years old during the Vietnam war, enlisted in the U.S. Navy, and served aboard a destroyer in the South Pacific. At the time, I was in favor of that war having been indoctrinated in the domino theory of fighting against Communism and was pretty gung-ho about it, especially when it was reported that three destroyers had been attacked in the Tonkin Golf.

After my tour was up and I began seeing and reading news reports about that war, and found out that the Tonkin Golf incident was a fabrication, I changed my mind about Vietnam.

After 9-11, I was in favor o…

Looking back -looking forward

The following letter was written by Ken Kovack, Legislative Director for the Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR) and appears here with his permission.

November 25, 2009

From: Ken Kovack, Legislation, Washington, DC Office

Looking back – looking forward:

During the last year of the Bush administration, as his ratings in the polls were dropping and the public mood for change was taking place, a historic election was in the making. At the same time our financial system and Wall Street was near collapse, companies “too big to fail” would be seeking government aid to bail them out of the enormous cost of their poor decisions impacting here, and around the world. Regardless of the situation CEO bonuses would be sought at taxpayers expense even as these executive decisions caused bankruptcies and higher unemployment with predictions by economists that the rise in unemployment would continue into the first and second quarter of the year 2010 before beginning to abate.…

Treat your paper carrier good

Well, I hope you all enjoyed a great Thanksgiving Day.

Receiving the South Bend Tribune on Thanksgiving brought back memories of my days as a paper boy in Hobart.

There were about twenty of us, all boys in those days, that delivered the Chicago Tribune. We would all meet in “the office” to fold our papers and stuck off from there. We could always gage how difficult the morning would be by the number of pages the newspaper had.

We all were well aware that the newspaper on Thanksgiving had the most pages of any paper all year, and didn’t look forward to that delivery and we tried our best to fill our canvas paper bags to the brim without room to spare so that we wouldn’t have to make another trip back to the “office”. Of course, that made the first several papers that much more difficult to remove from the bag. Plus, we weren’t able to heave them with as much ease or with as much accuracy as we could on the rest of the days of the year.

I tried to be more accurate in throwing the paper …

Thank you Senator Bayh

Congratulations and thanks to all of you who attended town hall meetings, demonstrated, wrote letters, made phone calls, visited with your Senators, prayed, etc. etc. for meaningful health care reform.

This evening, all fair minded members of the U.S. Senate voted to begin the debate on the health care reform legislation that will mean so much for working Americans and retirees.

Special thanks to Senator Evan Bayh for voting the correct way.

And I must say shame shame to the right wingers who would vote no to health care reform strictly for political reasons.

Republicans continue to be the party of no.

Charlie is my kind of guy

For millions of Americans, Thanksgiving is home, food, and family. And for many of us, the inevitable polite conversation with the uncle who has squandered too many hours listening to Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.

How are you to survive an evening with your Uncle Mortimer?

You know, the uncle who looks vaguely like Dick Cheney. He worships Ronald Reagan, considers "French" an insult, and wants to know where Obama was really born. Neither he nor his wife, Aunt Minerva, ever tips more than ten percent.

Uncle Mort knows you're a "liberal," and he eagerly sits next to you at the Thanksgiving table, armed and ready with the usual conservative tripe. Not surprisingly, he starts with what's hot:


Thanksgiving Day: Gearing up for the Chat with Uncle Mort

Mort: You hear about Sarah Palin's new book?

Charlie: Uhhh...

Mort: She's on the march! Giving Republicans some backbone. Given the mess Obama has made of things, Americans are going to sweep Democrats out in th…

Retirees Praise Reid Health Bill

815 16th Street, NW, 4th Floor ♦ Washington, D.C. 20006 ♦ (202) 637-5399 ♦

For Immediate Release Contact: David Blank (202) 637-5275
November 19, 2009

Step in Right Direction, Seniors Advocate Says

The following statement was issued today by Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, in support of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

“The Alliance for Retired Americans congratulates Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for putting together a strong health care reform bill. The proposed legislation would make great strides in helping Americans of all ages better afford to see a doctor or get a prescription filled.

“Our nation’s retirees need lower prescription drug prices, the ability to get life-saving preventive screenings and testings, and an end to the Medicare Trust Fund-draining subsidies to the private insurance companies who …

Bishops Call For Withdrawal from Afghanistan

An Open Letter to President Barack Obama
Dear President Obama,We greet you in the name of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.We, Bishops of The United Methodist Church, whose names appear below, are deeply concerned about the escalating war in Afghanistan.We call upon you to set a timetable for the withdrawal of all coalition forces by the end of 2010.The war has now lasted over 7 years, and there is no end in sight. During that time, 911 members of the US military and 591 coalition forces have been killed. October was the deadliest month since the war began. Tens of thousands of Afghans have been killed in the war.The position of The United Methodist Church is that "war is incompatible with the teachings of Christ." Our vision is a world in which people live together in peace and with mutual respect. Our Church, the third largest religious denomination in the United States, has 11 million members with 40,000 local congregations in Africa, Asia, Europe and the United States. W…

Religious Leaders - Keep your views to yourselves

Every excuse in the world is being presented by the right wing nuts to derail health care reform.
Much of it is being advanced by our so called religious leaders, especially the bishops of the catholic church (all men, by the way) who have been provided with darned good medical insurance by their parishoners.

Well, I'm calling upon them to keep their mouths shut during a worship service in regard to medical insurance for Americans.

If they want to write a letter or make a phone call to their congressional representatives, or demonstrate, that's fine.

But their record of preaching what should or should not be done with regard to social justice in America, frankly, isn't all that great.

Call Senator Bayh

I just found out the the daughter of one of our retirees recently went bankrupt because of healthcare costs.

Please take a few minutes to Call Senator Bayh's office to let him know that the people of Indiana want Health Care Reform with a strong public option.

The AFLCIO has furnished us with a toll free number that you can call 1-877-323-5246 or 1-877-3AFLCIO.

For those of you who really want to see change, call this number everyday.


Petition for Jobs Now

Please click on the petition to the right to enlarge it. Then, print it out and mail it to us.


I Feel So Much Safer - Right Wingers are such hypocrites

Todays South Bend Tribune reports that the Indiana State Police have arrested a 49 year old woman for growing 90 marijuana plants in her home. Gosh, now don't you all feel so much safer?
Such poppy cock.
Today, the weed enthusiasts will be dispersing literally millions of marijuana seed along the county roads in Indiana.
So much for our tax dollars being dumped down the holes of the right wing toilets.

Speaking of right wing poop - Could it be true that the Republican National Committee employees have had abortion coverage since 1991 as reported?

Such hypocrites the republicans are. Two faced. Speakers with forked tongues. And this from the party that was putting up such a fuss a week ago about any type of abortion insurance coverage being in the house health care reform legislation.

Which Congressman side with Working Families vs. Insurance Companies

For Immediate Release
Contact: Kenneth J. Zeller
Joseph Breedlove

Reps. Carson, Donnelly, Ellsworth, Hill and Visclosky
Get A+ for Historic Health Care Vote,
Health Care Vote Shows Who Sides With
Working Families vs. Insurance Companies

(Indianapolis, IN, Nov. 9, 2009) – On the heels of an historic late night vote in the House of Representatives for a good, balanced health care reform bill, the Indiana AFL-CIO released its scoring of how our state’s U.S. representatives voted on HR 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act.

The legislation which passed Saturday evening by a vote of 220 to 215, would finally bring security and stability to our nation’s health care system. Working families would get much needed relief from skyrocketing health care prices by being able to choose between a public option and private for-profit insurance.

Indiana Congressional Health Care Scorecard

A+ /Sided with Working Families
Andre Carson
Joe Donnelly
Brad Ellsworth
Baron Hill
Pete V…

Send Your Best Wishes to our Fort Hood Hero

by James Parks, Nov 10, 2009

Sgt. Kimberly Munley is a bona fide hero, having risked her life to stop the alleged gunman who killed 13 people and injured 30 at Fort Hood, Texas, on Nov. 5. Munley shot the alleged assailant, Maj. Nidal Hasan, four times, despite being shot herself. She currently is recovering from her injuries and is in stable condition.

Now her union, AFGE, has set up a site where you can send your best wishes to Sgt. Munley. Just click here and compose a message to her. Your messages will be collected and AFGE will deliver the messages to Munley on Friday, Nov. 20.

Munley, 34, is a member of AFGE Local 1920 and the mother of a three-year-old. She and her partner were the first to arrive at the Soldier Readiness Center, where Hasan allegedly opened fire.

AFGE President John Gage said Munley “acted with great heroism.”

Lt. Gen. Bob Cone, commanding general at Fort Hood, told CNN that Munley’s actions stopped Hasan cold and saved lives. He said Munley is a “trained, active …

Donnelly - Good for You

I was watching the debate on health care reform closely yesterday and gritted my teeth during the vote, preparing my mind to work my heart out to defeat Joe Donnelly in the next primary if he should end up voting the wrong way.
But alas, Joe came through for retirees and working families to bring us one step closer to reforming our deplorable health care system.

Congratulations Joe Donnelly and thanks so much for remembering who hired you. Now, keep it up. So far, your votes in Congress have been right on.

Phone or email your Congressman today

The House will likely vote on their health care bill tomorrow, a bill that guarantees quality, affordable health care for all and gives us a choice of a public health insurance option. It meets all of our principles and deserves to be passed.

Yesterday, I participated in a conference call sponsored by the Alliance for Retired Americans. I learned a few things about the U.S. House of Representatives health reform bill HR3962 and want to share what I learned with you.

The AARP and the American Medical Association have both endorsed the bill.The bill will strengthen the Medicare Trust Fund.Without reform, in 2010, every couple will pay an additional $90 per year in their Part B premiums just to subsidize the so called “Medicare Advantage” private insurance plans.The bill will begin to close the Medicare Part D Donut Hole. In 2010, those who find themselves in the Donut Hole would see a 50% decrease in their drug costs.The bill would develop policies to more quickly allow those high tech b…

Congratulations to Georgia Pacific Workers

Today, the workers at the Georgia Pacific Gypsum plant in Wheatfield, Indiana won their election to be members of the United Steelworkers Union.

We need the Employee Free Choice Act so workers won't ever have to go through what this stinking company has put them through for the last three years.

Georgia Pacific Field of Dreams

Union members at the Georgia Pacific Gypsum plant in Wheatfield, Indiana fought a long and hard battle and finally ratified a labor contract last spring. Shortly before the ratification vote, a decertification petition was filed with the National Labor Relations Board by a small group which has opposed union representation from the very start. The USW filed several unfair labor practice charges that were settled by Georgia-Pacific and a 60 day posting time has passed which is now allowing for this decertification election.
These local members needed our show of support so on November 3, 2009, Steelworkers and SOAR members rallied outside the gate of the Georgia Pacific Gypsum plant in Wheatfield, Indiana.Georgia Pacific management is giving the same old speeches of past organizing campaigns filled with empty threats and promises. No matter how many boss's come and go our union contract protects their wages, benefits and working conditions.

Here's the company lingo:

"We have …

It's hard to be a Blogger, Georgia Pacific

In attempting to be a blogger, I'm not doing too good. I'm saying in so few words what otherwise could be said in so many. If any of you have details of a college course I could get that could teach me how to say in 1000 words or more what otherwise could be said in 10 words or less, please let me know.

Tomorrow, Tuesday November 3, we will have a short demonstration in Wheatfield, Indiana at the Georgia Pacific gypsum plant. The demonstration will be from 2:00 pm till 3:30 pm CST. The location is on Co. Rd. 1350 North in Wheatfield, just next to that huge NIPSCO generating station.

Even though Georgia-Pacific workers now have a first contract, they are still facing a decertification vote due to a small group who never wanted union representation.

GP workers need our support to finally put this behind them and to help give them the opportunity to build a strong active local union. The local union members have
fought long and hard together against an anti-union Georgia Pacific…

RALLY for GP Gypsum Workers

Date: Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Time: 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm cst

Georgia-Pacific Gypsum
Co Rd 1350 North
Wheatfield, IN

Even though Georgia-Pacific workers now have a first contract they are still facing a decertification vote on Thursday, November 5 due to a small group who never wanted union representation.

GP workers need our support to finally put this behind them and to help give them the opportunity to build a strong active local union. The local union members have
fought long and hard together against an anti-union GP management. We can’t allow all
their hard work to be for nothing! Please come and support these courageous workers one more time and send a clear message to GP management that the union is here to stay!

Contact persons: Ted Sautter 219-793-5346 or Mike O’Brien 219-765-7778

What a great show of solidarity at Federal Mogul

Just couldn't have asked for a better turn out today at our demonstration against the turncoat, renegade, cheating, corrupt, crooked, thieving company of Federal Mogul down in Logansport, Indiana.
Really showed what unionism is all about. Thankyou everyone who was able to be with us.

Rally photos can be seen here:

Retirees Wanted at Federal Mogul Demonstration

Come and help the retirees at Federal Mogul Corporation located in Logansport, Indiana.

They will demonstrate in front of this company at 3pm EDT, Wednesday, October 28.

This renegade company is trying to eliminate health insurance for their retirees. People who gave up wages throughout the years so they could have health insurance when they retire, and now the company wants to dump them.

If we keep letting this happen, none of us will be secure in our retirement years.

You can find out the particulars by clicking here.

Feral Mongrel, a.k.a. Federal Mogul (What's the difference)

Feral Mongrel, a.k.a. Federal Mogul, is the company in Logansport, Indiana that is wanting to eliminate medical insurance for their retirees, thus requiring the rest of us to foot the bill.

This renegade company is located just a golf shot south of Logansport, Indiana on route 29.

It's located on the east side of the highway.

The address is 101 Industrial Blvd., Logansport, Indiana 46947.

If you would like to give them a call to let them know that they are on the wrong side of humanity, the phone number is: 574-722-6141.

Be sure to let them know that you know someone who is retired. Remind them that they know someone in their family who is retired.

Remind them that some day, they will also be retired.

Are you listening Congressman Donnelly? Now do you see why we need a public option included in the health insurance reform? To make up for poor coporate citizens like Feral Mongrel.

Federal Mogul Ain't no Cute Pig

Nope. Federal Mogul Corporation down in Logansport, Indiana ain't no cute kind of pig.

Oh no, this pig has been to the city trough enough times to qualify as an out and out hog.

We'll supply jobs with good benefits. Sure they will. Then after a few years cut the benefits and put the city, state and federal government and taxpayers on the hook for what remains.

This stinking company, Federal Mogul, is the worse kind of corporate citizen.

Negotiates benefits, then when retirees look for some little bit of security and pleasant retirement in their golden years, this rotten company puts the fright into them by suggesting they want to take away their medical insurance.

You know what? That suggestion came out someone's mouth. Not everyone's mouth. Just that one persons mouth. I want to know who that one person is.

Who's side is Joe Donnelly on? I want to know the answer to that question too.

Another Stinking fish in Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District

What does a rotten-to-the-core company do to the retirees of that company who devoted their working lives helping it succeed? Try to eliminate their health insurance, that’s what.

Federal Mogul, the company in Logansport, Indiana that makes Carter fuel pumps, wants to eliminate the medical insurance for those retirees who devoted their working lives to this once proud company.

Today, I can say that Federal Mogul is the absolute worst company in Indiana. If they succeed in eliminating health insurance for their retirees, they will be the worst company in the nation as far as I’m concerned. If they fail in their attempt to eliminate this insurance for retirees, then they are guilty of scaring retirees unnecessarily.

I hope Congressman Joe Donnelly takes notice of this stinking rotten company, Federal Mogul, and heaps on them the just reward they will surely get some day.

Shame on Federal Mogul and any member of that management team that assists that company in treating their retirees wit…

News from the National Alliance for Retired Americans

News from the National Alliance for Retired Americans
Barbara J. Easterling, President

As president of the Alliance for Retired Americans, I know that many older people are scared and confused, fearful of the change that health reform may bring.

While retirees have a lot to gain from health reform, you would never know it from all the mean-spirited myths and falsehoods that are out there. Seniors are scared and confused because powerful interests are spending millions of dollars – and spreading millions of lies – to preserve the status quo, a broken system that puts profits ahead of people, special interests ahead of the public interest.

Let’s make it our mission to help separate fact from fiction. When someone says to you that health reform will be bad for seniors, set the record straight.

Tell them how we have an opportunity to close the Medicare Part D doughnut hole, lower prescription drug costs, help early retirees afford health care coverage, and assist middle-class families with t…

Republicans are Callous

Every day this month, 7,000 workers without jobs will lose their unemployment compensation. Why?, because of two heartless right wingers. Senators Orin Hatch, Republican from Utah, and Senator John Kyl, Republican from Arizona.These two have twice blocked attempts in the U.S. Senate to extend unemployment benefits. Got money to make war? Sure. Got enough to give big tax breaks to the wealthy? Sure. But do we have enough money to help the unemployed? Hell no.Leave it to the right wing nuts to ruin a country. It's no wonder that the conservatives are re-writing the Bible.As Jack Clark says, "right wingers only vote for things that cause human pain, misery, suffering and death."

Brett Voorhies for Indiana House of Representatives

Yesterday I met a guy from Indianapolis who is running for the Indiana House of Representatives in District 92 (West Indianapolis).

Brett Voorhies, long time Steelworker is taking the plunge into politics for the first time. I'm so impressed with this guy, that I just had to tell you about him.

Brett has been the legislative representative for the Steelworkers Union in Indiana for the past several years, and he'll make a great representative for retirees and working families in our state.

You can become acquainted with Brett by going to his website at the following web address:

Click here

Health Insurance update

So, the Senate Finance Committee finally passed their version of health care reform. Well, just one Republican't voted in favor of it. But it did pass.This means we move forward with the legislation. Actually the Finance Committee version stinks for the following reasons:

It taxes healthcare benefits, potentially impacting thousands of USW members with higher-cost plans. These plans could be expensive because they cover older workers, workers with worse than average health histories or even because of a geographic area. While the tax is levied on insurers, or self-insured employers, the cost will undoubtedly be passed on to workers in the form of higher premiums.It doesn’t include a public option. A public option – like in the House bill – would provide real competition for private insurance companies.Employers are not required to contribute in some way towards employees’ healthcare, allowing irresponsible employers to continue dumping their healthcare costs on others with no p…

Let Congress Go Without Insurance

By Nicholas D. Kristof
Op-Ed Columnist for the NY Times Let me offer a modest proposal: If Congress fails to pass comprehensive health reform this year, its members should surrender health insurance in proportion with the American population that is uninsured.It may be that the lulling effect of having very fine health insurance leaves members of Congress insensitive to the dysfunction of our existing insurance system. So what better way to attune our leaders to the needs of their constituents than to put them in the same position?About 15 percent of Americans have no health insurance, according to the Census Bureau. Another 8 percent are underinsured, according to the Commonwealth Fund, a health policy research group. So I propose that if health reform fails this year, 15 percent of members of Congress, along with their families, randomly lose all health insurance and another 8 percent receive inadequate coverage.Congressional critics of President Obama’s efforts to achieve health refo…

Where we stand on health insurance reform

Click on the photo above to enlarge it.

Wake up NIPSCO

NIPSCO is at it again. Hiring outside contractors to do the work at NIPSCO that NIPSCO management should be doing.

The last time it was some company in Costa Rica that ended up screwing up the whole payroll system.

This time it's an outside company to manage their workers negotiated sick leave benefits. Naturally, the company they hired to do this for them is incompetent.

Now, I don't want to have to write about this kind of stuff, or Royal Center explosions or anything else pertaining to NIPSCO unless is it's something good. So NIPSCO management, get off your duffs and start doing your jobs.




NIPSCO Medical Insurance informational meetings

October 13- South Bend LOA from at 9:30 and 1:00 EST, Large Conf Room

October 16- Plymouth 9:30 and 1:00 EST, Large Conf Room

October 19- SLC 9:30 and 1:30 CST, ABC Conf Room

October 20 -Fort Wayne 9:30 and 1:00 EST, Bldg 7 Large Conf Room

All are at operating headquarters (except Southlake).All retirees will be notified by US mail – even post-65’ers, since they may have pre-65 spouses.

Where have all the Republicans gone?

The truth of the matter is that there aren't any. The ones that call themselves Republicans are simply phonies. Ike was the last real Republican. Nowadays, Republicans are just plain mean spirited no nothings.
They don't have to read legislation when they have it in their minds before hand that they're going to vote no on anything that attempts to help people.
Even the so called Republican Congressman from Indiana seem to want to show just how stupid they are. The biggest surprise to me is Congressman Mike Pence. Affiliating himself with the right wing nuts.
What a shame.

A September 11th Memory

Back row, left to right are Alton Glass, Dave Trach and Charlie Averill
Front row, left to right are George Banks, Heidi Templeton, Senator Hillary Clinton, and John Knight. This photograph was taken after our return to Washington.


After writing an article to explain this photograph, I decided to check past issues of a SOAR Chapter newsletter that our SOAR Chapter puts out every other month. Success…..I was surprised that the two articles were very similar, proving that I still have some of my memory left. I decided to use the original article here, for accuracy, and only added two sentences.

Because so many steel companies have filed for bankruptcy due to the illegal dumping of foreign steel into our country, about 600,000 Steelworker retirees are in jeopardy of losing their medical insurance, and in some cases, part of their pensions. These benefit costs, which companies overseas don’t have to deal with, are referred to as “legacy” costs.

Our Steelworkers Union and SOAR de…

Bass Lake Tallest Corn Award

After soliciting the people living around Bass Lake to save all of the Republican lies, distortions and racial hate speech having to do with Healthcare Reform that has been mailed to them, I was able to collect three 20 gallon garbage cans full of the crap.

I then soaked the hate filled lies in four five gallon buckets of water. It was pretty stinky so I had to take it out behind the wood shed. One week later I soaked the ground beneath this corn stalk. There was enough propaganda to allow me to do this eight more times.

The corn grew fifteen feet tall. After the Bass Lake Tallest Corn Committee (BLTCC) got a chance to measure it, they gave me the BLTCCA (Bass Lake Tallest Corn Committee Award).

I want to thank the Republican Party, especially the RNC Chairman, Michael Steele and Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley as they provided the most manure and I couldn't have done it without them.

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Union Beer

The only thing better than an icy cold beer on a hot summer day is a union brew to quench your thirst for labor solidarity. Union beers include all Miller and Anheuser-Busch products including Miller High Life, Genuine Draft and Lite, Milwaukees Best, Sharps, Icehouse, Red Dog & Hamms (Miller), and Budweiser, Bud Light and Budweiser American Ale, Michelob, Shock Top, Busch, Natural Light, Rolling Rock and ODouls (Anheuser-Busch) - as well as Leinenkugels, Iron City, Mad River Brewing and Henry Weinhards. “Drink beer made by union members,” the union brewery workers urge, “You’ll feel better in the morning.”(Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO)

Clean Energy Jobs NOW

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My Last Whirlpool Refrigerator

The last two refrigerators we had were manufactured by Whirlpool, here in the United States.

The South Bend Tribune this morning reports that Whirlpool will be shutting down their Whirlpool refrigerator plant in Evansville, Indiana in 2010 which will cut 1,100 production jobs.

Whirlpool is moving this refrigerator production plant to Mexico. They're doing this not for productivity, but simply for cheap labor.

Whirlpool has provided me with my last refrigerator. In my opinion, Whirlpool has become a rotten, disloyal, unpatriotic company.

Are there any Republicans on Medicare Part B? Surely Not!

Republicans have been claiming that they don't want health care reform, particularly a government program.

Now since they've paid into Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) through their Social Security taxes, I doubt if they will refuse Medicare Part A when they become eligible.

I wonder if any Republicans are getting Medicare Part B (medical insurance). I doubt it since it's optional and they would have to pay a premium to the government for it. Surely they wouldn't want a government program would they? In fact, if they were true to their principles, there wouldn't be any Republicans on Medicare Part B. Do you think there are any Republicans or any others who claim to be 'anti-government program' on Medicare Part B? Surely not.

In other words, there aren't any of these people who claim to be anti-government speaking with forked tongues are there?

Right Wingers......they are a funny lot.